A day in the life of me

I am a Project Manager working for a Local Authority in the very heart of London. My working day is usually busy and I’m rarely in one place.

My alarm goes off at 6am and I wake up to some very quick morning stretches to get my body moving. I always have breakfast at home and always within 20-30 minutes of waking up – this works best for me.

I start the morning with a glass of warm water with a squeeze of lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, cinnamon and raw honey. Following this I’ll either have a decaf tea or coffee with hemp milk.

Breakfast is always something that’s quick to prepare or that I’ve prepared overnight. Some examples are:

  • Homemade granola with chia pudding or hemp milk topped with some banana and blueberries
  • Overnight oats and chia pudding
  • Poached egg on sourdough rye toast
  • Sprouted grain cinnamon and raisin toast with peanut butter and banana

I usually leave the house by 7 and aim to be at my desk for 8am. My commute consists of a half hour train journey followed by a 25 minute walk to my office. During the day I tend to have site meetings which I will usually walk to if they are nearby.

I drink around 2L of water during the day, one green tea in the morning – usually a Pukka range and organic rooibos tea.

Lunch is pretty much the same salad with a slight variation everyday and every week and surprisingly I never get bored of it. I prepare my salads in batches of two days and the main ingredients are always:

  • Mixed organic salad leaves
  • Pumpkin and sunflower seeds
  • Beetroot
  • Tomatoes
  • Half an avocado
  • Hummus
  • Peas or soybeans

And I tend to throw in some extra veg which I batch roast on a Sunday morning – anything from broccoli, cauliflower to red peppers or artichokes.

Depending on my day I will usually have lunch around midday with colleagues in my team. During the summer months we get to enjoy sitting by the river and soaking in the sun rays which is a very welcome break during the day.

I love fruit but do limit my intake due to the sugar. I eat citrus fruits, berries, apples and pears. I’ll usually have an apple in the afternoon, a clementine or some kiwi and mixed berries.

Let’s not forget nuts! I eat two Brazil nuts everyday to get my intake of selenium, a couple of walnuts, almond and pistachios mixed with some raisins for that afternoon pick me up.

I leave work between 4:30 – 5pm and walk 25 minutes back to the station. When I get home I’m ready to cook dinner. Dinner is always quick during the week but freshly made and as healthy as possible. You can find some of my dinner recipes under the Mains heading on this page. I cook organic chicken or oily fish once a week and the rest of the meals are pretty much meat free.

I finish the day with a cup of vanilla rooibos and a piece of dark chocolate and head to bed for 10pm.

Slow roast, lemon and garlic chicken

With Christmas around the corner and the cold evenings well and truly settled in a roast dinner is the perfect meal! I’ve played around with this method and think I’ve got it on point now!

Ingredients:

2 whole organic chickens

Zest of 2 lemons

Juice of 1 lemon

1 whole garlic bulb

2 red onions

Knob of butter

Olive oil

Handful of fresh thyme

Method:

Preheat the oven to 120C.

Peel and crush half of the garlic bulb and combine in a bowl with the lemon zest, lemon juice, butter, few glugs of olive oil, salt and pepper.

Place the chickens in either two separate roasting trays or one large one, using a sharp knife pierce the chicken all over. Pour the marinade over the two chickens and using your hands rub into the skin. Place the remaining garlic cloves, unpeeled, into the roasting tray and peel the onions, cut into quarters and place in the tray.

Fill approx 1/4 of the tray with water, cover and seal well with foil and place in the oven for 2 hours.

After 2 hours, turn the temperature up to 140C and cook for another hour.

Remove the chicken from the oven and remove the foil, place back in the oven and turn the temperature up to 200C and cook for half hour to crisp up the skin.

Once cooked, remove from the oven, place foil back on the chicken and allow to rest for half hour before serving.

My favourite sides for a roast – sweet potato wedges, maple syrup and cinnamon parsnips, ginger and garlic Brussels sprouts and crispy kale 👌🏽

Wholewheat pesto spaghetti

This is a great meal to cook when you are short of time but want something healthy! You can make the pesto beforehand or it’s so quick and easy to do whilst the spaghetti is boiling. 

Ingredients:

Wholewheat spaghetti

Almond pesto – this time round I didn’t add the avocado but if you want a creamier texture then feel free to

Handful of cherry tomatoes

1 small red onion

Handful of rocket leaves 

Olive oil

Salt and pepper to season 

Method 

Put the spaghetti to boil – I always add salt and olive oil to the water.

Whilst the spaghetti is boiling make the almond pesto using the recipe in the link above. 

Cut the cherry tomatoes into halves and slice the red onion, fry these in on a medium heat in some olive oil. 

Once the spaghetti is cooked, drain and rinse in cold water slightly to remove the starch but not so much that it makes the spaghetti go cold. Mix in the almond pesto, red onion and tomatoes and a handful of rocket leaves. 

Serve immediately and you can sprinkle some feta or Parmesan on top of you wish! 

Spring green salad with almond pesto and grilled chicken

A hearty salad for a hot summers day!

For two people as a main dish takes about 30-40 minutes with preparation and cooking time. Great for during the week after a busy day at the office! 

Ingredients 

2 organic chicken breasts

1 courgette 

1 pack asparagus tips

4 pink radishes

1 packet organic watercress

Feta cheese

2 teaspoons toasted almond flakes

1 teaspoon oregona

1 lemon

Approx 4 tablespoons almond pesto click here for the recipe

Method
Wash and cut the chicken in half length ways – this halves the cooking time and still keeps the breast juicy when cooked. Marinate the chicken with a good gulg of olive oil, a sprinkle of oregano, juice of 1 lemon, salt and pepper to season. Set aside.

Put the watercress in a salad bowl and add thinly sliced radishes and approximately 4 tablespoons of the pesto – depending on how much you want it dressed. 

Wash and trim the ends of the asparagus, heat a griddle pan on medium to high heat and add a knob of butter. Cook the asparagus till charred, once ready cut into bite size pieces and add to the salad. 

Cut the courgette into thin ribbons with a potato peeler or a thin knife and in the same griddle pan add the ribbons and cook till charred. Once ready add to the salad. 

Now cook the chicken, add the sliced chicken breast to the griddle pan on high heat with some olive oil and cook on each side until brown with a grilled effect. It will take around 10 minutes to cook through but check the thickest part of the breast by cutting through. Once all is cooked slice the breast into slices and add to the salad. Top the salad with the toasted flaked almonds and crumble the feta. Mix it all up and it’s ready to serve! Taste best warm! 

Tip: to make it more filling you can add cous cous or steamed baby potatoes

Spicy roasted chickpeas 

Roasted chickpeas are great way to get your fibre and protein intake. They taste great as an accompaniment to a meal or scattered over a salad!

Ingredients:

400g can chickpeas (I use Sainsburys So Organic range)

1/2 tsp each of the following:

Ground cumin

Smoked paprika

Crushed coriander seeds

Salt and black pepper

A few glugs of olive oil 

Method:

There are two ways you can cook these, if using the oven turn it on to 220c, if using the cooker put a dry non stick pan on medium heat.

Drain and rinse the chickpeas and put them in a bowl. Toss all the dry ingredients and olive oil with the chickpeas until they are fully coated. 

Place the coated chickpeas evenly on a tray lined with baking paper and put them on the middle shelf of the oven. They take about 15 minutes to cook but toss them around regularly and keep a very close eye on them as they can start to pop! When they look like they are beginning to dry out and have a crisp finish remove them from the oven but again be careful as they may still pop! I’ve started covering the tray in foil for the first 10 minutes or so and then roasting them uncovered for the last 5 minutes I find this prevents some of the popping but they aren’t as crispy so it depends how you want the texture.

If cooking them in the pan add them to the heated non stick pan and cover with a lid. Turn the heat up to high and regularly toss the pan to ensure they are evenly cooked. Same as above, watch out for popping and timing depends on just how crispy you want them!

Once done, sprinkle on your salad or have it as a side dish with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice!

Oat and banana breakfast bars 

These are great to make as part of Sunday meal prep and a nutrient packed grab and go breakfast! 

Ingriedents:

1 cup porridge oats

1 banana 

1 tbsp chia seeds

1 tbsp nut butter

1 tbsp honey 

1 tbsp ground flaxseeds (optional)

1 tbsp cacoa powder (optional)

Handful each of:

Pumpkin seeds

Coconut chips 

Flaked almonds

Roughly chopped walnuts (or any other nuts of your choice)

Fresh blueberries (optional)

Method:
Turn the oven on to 200c and line a small baking dish with baking paper.

Mash the banana in a bowl and mix in all of the dry ingredients.

On a low heat warm up the nut butter and honey in a sauce pan until they are mixed together. Pour this into the banana mixture and mix until all combined.

Spoon the mixture into the baking tray, you will need to press down the mixture with the back of the spatula to compact it.

Cook in the oven on the middle shelf for around 20 minutes or until it starts to brown at the edges.

Once ready, remove from the oven and let it cool before cutting into either 6 squares or 3 bars depending on how much you will want. 

They will keep in the fridge in an airtight container for up to a week. Eat them plain on the go or have them with a big dollop of nut butter 👌🏽

The great thing about this recipe is that you can add as many or as little ingredients as you like! Use more seeds, less nuts, more fruit, add dried fruit or even some chocolate chips! Give it a go! 

Black bean dip

A super quick and easy recipe! The black beans give it a great texture and nutty flavour while the paprika, garlic and cumin give it good kick!

Ingredients:

400g tin organic black beans

Half tsp each of the following:

Paprika

Ground cumin

Pink salt

Black pepper

2 garlic cloves

A good gulg of extra virgin olive oil

Method:

Put all the above items in a food processor and blend until smooth. Voila! Its the most delicious, creamy dip and a great way to pack in the protein, fibre and micronutrients 💪🏽 

Keep on an airtight container in the fridge, enjoy with sliced peppers, tortilla chips or on the side of a green salad!